Sunday, October 13, 2019

It's Yam Time 2019!

You see me posting and saying It's Yam Time, so what is the East Texas Yamboree all about???

"The East Texas Yamboree is one of the longest running festivals in Texas with well over one hundred thousand people attending every year.
What makes the Yamboree special to so many people?
Many would say it’s the great carnival that we make sure to expand every year with many exciting new rides and attractions. Others have said that its the wonderful Queen’s Coronation Pageant with all its beautiful and talented young ladies and the spectacle that they bring to our stage. Then we have the Livestock Show and Sale where one gets to enjoy seeing the animals  and shop projects that our youth have worked so hard on for sale.
Others love the barn dance where we get to see the rising young stars of country music and dance the night away. Let’s not forget the the school and the grand spectacle of the Queen’s Parade, gospel singing, the outside exhibits where people come to sell all types of wares. Then we have  the art and photography shows, the food (that’s one of my favorites), high school football, spending time with family and old friends plus myriad other activities taking place over this special weekend in October.
All of these things and more make the East Texas Yamboree an event that people come from all over the world to enjoy every year.
So come and see for yourself what makes the Yamboree special to so many of us; you won’t be disappointed." From website

The Queen, Ladies in Waiting, and Yamboree President on the front of this years Yamboree Brochure. 

Our town, Gilmer, Texas (population about 5,000) swells to over a 100,000 for all the festivities surrounding the Yamboree. It's everything described above and sooooo much more! From Yam pie and decorated yam contest to band marching contest, the livestock shows and sale, the band stand and fiddlers contest, a barn dance, two parades and pageants, carnival on the square, lots of fair food, bbq, and of course lots of sweet potato pie! Craft vendors gather at the Yamboree Fair Grounds (located just north of WalMart and the Gilmer Civic Center on US HWY 271 North), along with all the livestock related events where Upshur County 4H and FFA students show their cattle, pigs, chickens, goats, rabbits, and shop projects. Canning contest, the art show, photography show and exhibit, and the pie contest are all held at the "Blue Building" at the fair grounds as well. There truly is, something for everyone and folks come from all over the USA to the yearly homecoming event! Oh, and its the only time of the year that I ever eat a corny dog and maybe a funnel cake! 

(A couple of my calves I showed at the Yamboree - Rosie and Ace, circa 1994 and 1999) 

I grew up showing my steers and a heifer in the livestock show, while I was an FFA member in high school. I sold my steers through the livestock sale and used that money to pay for my college. Some years, we rode our horses in the parade with the 4H Club. A few years ago, I decided to enter the yam pie contest and after a couple tries, I carried on a family tradition and won Grand Champion Pie, 40 years after my sweet Grandmama did!

(That's the winning pie on the bottom right!) 

Janice and Angea - aka GypsyFarmGirl and Rooster Tails at our very first show at the Yamboree in 2015! We've came a long way, baby! 

We haven't particiapted in the Yamboree the last two years, but we got a special invitation to return this year and we will be inside the exhibit building at the Yamboree Park (also known as the blue building at the fairgrounds.) If you've attended in the past few years, the blue building won't look the same as before, so come on out and see what all is happening at the fair grounds! We will be inside in a climate controlled building (exited about not having to deal with outside elements this time) and have all of our clothing, some decor, and lots of fun items! Of course we have the It's Yam Time tees as well. These will be in limited supply at the show, so come early to get yours! 

We are super excited to be returning to our home town fair and event and get to bring all of our items to you, right here in Gilmer! Just like when we showed steers, which were county born, bred, and raised, our clothing and items are made right here in the county as well! And to me, that's what the Yamboree is about - creating / growing / producing / making your items and taking them to town for the fair, whether it's yam pie, livestock, pictures for the photography contest, canning, art work... it's about taking your specialty and getting to share them with everyone at the county fair!  
Also, watch on Facebook and Instagram, as we unveil a few new surprise items that we are working on as well! 

Let me also tell you a little about my Yam Time tee shirt - The heifer pictured is one of ours that was born and raised on our farm, here in the county. Since the fair is about Queen's and Crowns, Sissy the heifer needed a crown as well! So I  made a sunflower and orange rose flower crown and then added in my 1994 Union Ridge rodeo crown for some bling! Of course the livestock show has always been one of my favorite parts of the Yamboree, so I incorporated some of the other show animals. I happen to take thousands of pictures and found one of my 2010 Prize Winning Yam Pie, so it's on there too! Of course, what's the fair without a bushel basket of sweet potatoes and fall leaves? I found pictures I had taken of my nephew standing beside the basket at the flower shop where I used to work. The basket was part of the Band Stand decorations for the Ribbon Cutting, several years ago and was able to convert it to a digital graphic! And every fair has a Ferris Wheel, so I couldn't leave that out! 

Here is a copy of the Yamboree Schedule of Events:

10 a.m – 4:00p.m. Quilt Show  (CC)
7:30 a.m. Tater Trot (HS)
10am-4pm Quilt Show (CC)
7:00 a.m. Broiler Sifting and Show (YP)
10:30 a.m. Museum opens – display of Queen’s
11:00 a.m. Rabbit Check-in, Sift and Show (YP)
1:00-4:00 Home Canning entries accepted (YP)
4:00 p.m. Market Swine Weigh-in (YP)
5:00 pm. Shop Project Check-in (YP)
6:00 p.m. Carnival/Youth Night (CS)
All rides ½ price til midnight
7:30 p.m. Queen’s Coronation (CC)
8:30 a.m. Market Swine Show (YP)
9:00 a.m. Home Canning Judging (YP)
10:00 a.m. Bandstand opens (CS)
Inside Exhibits Open (YP)
10:15 a.m. Coffee for Queen/Court
First Baptist Church Parlor
Cass Street
10:30 a.m. Museum Opens – display of Queen’s
11:45 a.m. All Service Club Luncheon (HS)
12 Noon Carnival opens (CS)
Outside Exhibits open (YP)
Goat Weigh-in (YP)
1:00 p.m. Goat Show (YP
5:00 p.m. Steer Weigh-In & Dairy Heifer Udder
Check (YP)
6:00 p.m. Inside Exhibits close (YP)
7:30 p.m. Queen’s Coronation (CC)
8:30 p.m. Street Dance at Bandstand (CS)
10:00 p.m. Queen’s Ball for Queen Yam and her
Court (By invitation only)
8:00 a.m. Shop Project (YP)
9:00 a.m. Outside Exhibits open (YP)
Bandstand opens (CS)
10 – 12 noon Yam Pie Check-In (YP)
Inside Exhibits open (YP)
10:30 a.m. Museum opens – display of Queen’s
11:00 a.m. School/Youth Parade (CS)
12 Noon Carnival opens (CS)
Area bands perform on Bandstand (CS)
Yam Pie Judging (YP)
1:30 p.m. Steer Show (YP)
3:00 p.m. Commercial Dairy Show, Open Jr. Dairy
Show (immediately following Commercial
Dairy) (YP)
Yam Pie results (YP)
4:00 p.m. Gospel Stage opens (CC)
6:00 p.m Inside Exhibits close (YP)
8:30 p.m. Street Dance at Bandstand (CS)
8:00 a.m. Jr. Beef Judging,
8-10 a.m. Antique/Classic Car Show (W. Cass St.)
9:00 a.m. Outside Exhibits open (YP)
Bandstand opens (CS)
10:00 a.m. Inside Exhibits open (YP)
Fiddler’s Contest registration –
Bandstand (CS)
10:30 a.m. Museum opens- display of Queen’s
11:00 a.m. Queen’s Parade (CS)
11 – 2 p.m. Yamboree Barbecue (YP)
12:00 p.m. Gospel Stage opens (CC)
Carnival opens (CS)
1:00 p.m. Fiddler’s Contest (CS)
Marching Contest (HS)
1:45 p.m. Livestock Pre-sale Activities (YP)
2:00 p.m. Livestock Sale (YP)
6:00 p.m Inside Exhibits close (YP)
8:00 p.m. Barn Dance (NYEC)
8:30 p.m. Street Dance at Bandstand (CS)
YP………Yamboree Park, Hwy 271, N (North of Civic Center)
CS…………………………Courthouse Square, Downtown Gilmer
NYEC…New Yamboree Event Center (Behind Gilmer Civic Center on Bob Glaze Drive)
CC………………Civic Center, Hwy 271, N (North of Wal-Mart)
WH ………………..……..Wesley House, 231 Quail Drive
HS…………………..Gilmer High School, 850 Buffalo St.

Schedule Source: Go there to see more info and pictures about the Fair.

Items highlighted in orange specify the times and location we will be open.